Reporters Corner Sarah Sanders After Trump Urges Sessions to Investigate Anonymous Op-Ed: It's 'Not A Violation of Law'
Reporters at the White House on Monday hammered Sarah Huckabee Sanders over Donald Trump’s the upcoming Bob Woodward book “Fear,” which is set to be released Monday night, as well as the anonymous op-ed authored by a member of the administration that was published last week in the New York Times.
In a Monday tweet, Trump called Woodward a “liar” and “Dem operative.”
Sanders was asked if the White House press corp can “expect the White House to give a list of all the things in the book that are wrong and that qualified Woodward to be a liar.”
“I think that would be a complete and utter waste of our time, so no,” Sanders replied.
The White House press secretary was then pressed on whether Trump “[thinks] he can actually win a credibility battle with Bob Woodward,” who “is a legend.”
“I think I would rather take the actual, on-record account from people who are here, who have been working in this building, who have interacted with the president day in, day out, like general [James[ Mattis, like general [John] Kelly, like myself, not disgruntled former employees that refuse to put their name on things when they come out to attack the president,” Sanders said. “I think that those are far more credible sources and certainly far more reliable voices within this administration and that can accurately tell what's taking place in the building behind me.”
"Is the president still a credible voice?” the reporter asked.
“Absolutely,” Sanders replied.
The press secretary was later asked about Trump’s reaction to the anonymous op-ed, published last week, that claimed members of the Trump administration actively work against some of the president’s most volatile urges.
Trump has said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should investigate the author of that Times op-ed.
“There is no violation of the criminal code that goes along with the publication of this op-ed, so I'm a little curious as to what it is that the president believes may have been violated in the law as it relates to the publication of this op-ed piece,” one reporter asked Sanders.
“Once again, we would consider someone who is actively trying to undermine the executive branch of our government inappropriate, and something to cause concern, and they should look at it,” Sanders replied.
“What's the criminal violation there?” The reporter pressed.
“Once again, we're just saying this gives a great level of concern and they should look into it,” Sanders said.
"But it's not a violation of the law, though?” The reporter replied. “Just having concern is not a violation of law.”
“I'm not an attorney,” Sanders relented. “It's the Department of justice to make that determination and we're asking them to look into it and make that determination. And they certainly are fully capable of doing that. But someone actively trying to undermine the dually elected the president and the entire executive branch of president, that seems quite problematic to me and something they should take a look at.”